© Noel Seles
A general view in front of the headquarters of Tencent Corporation in Shenzhen, southern China, on May 28, 2021
Beijing’s crackdown on tech and real estate giants has cost billionaires in these two sectors dearly, seeing their benchmark ratings slide.
Billionaire Jack Ma’s rating, the richest man in China until last year, fell to fifth place this year, as his fortune fell by 36%, or $39.6 billion, according to the “Hurun” specialized list released Wednesday.
The founder of the leading Chinese e-commerce group, Alibaba, stumbled last year when he tried to list his subsidiary Ant, which specializes in electronic payments, on the stock exchange.
The process, which should have been the biggest ever, was scrapped at the last minute by Chinese authorities, weeks after Jack Ma publicly criticized Chinese regulators.
This fiasco was followed by an attack by the authorities on the tech giants, accused of abusing their dominant position in the market.
His rival in the sector, Tencent, saw his boss’s fortune drop by 19%, dropping Pony Ma from second place to fourth.
Alone, the 38-year-old head of the Chinese giant Bitdance Group that owns the TikTok app tripled his fortune to take second place. Zhang Yiming now owns $52.8 billion.
With a fortune of $60.5 billion, the mineral water king, Zhong Shanshan, 67, who floated his giant bottled water company last year, as well as a medical equipment company, is taking advantage of a boom in COVID-19 testing, with a fortune of $60.5 billion.
The Huron Institute noted that for the first time there was no illustrious name in real estate in the top ten list.
And the resounding fall was the collapse of Hui Ka Yan, founder of the massively indebted Chinese real estate company Evergrande.
Hui Kayan, who was ranked No. 1 in 2017 and No. 5 last year, has fallen to No. 70, with his fortune dropping by 70%.
In the name of debt control, Beijing has begun a financial takeover of the sector, which has put many real estate giants in trouble.
Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that President Xi Jinping’s regime has asked Hui to use his savings in order to help his group out of the impasse. According to Huron, he still has $11.3 billion.
Unlike real estate giants, clean car owners survived, as battery maker Zeng Yukon, founder of Cattel Group, climbed to third place after tripling his fortune within a year.